Author Topic: American Express's "Plan it" payment plan  (Read 1045 times)

kms

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American Express's "Plan it" payment plan
« on: October 17, 2018, 10:39:35 AM »
For a while I've noticed a "Plan it" on my AMEX statements on their website and in the iOS app. I think it's basically doable for all charges over $100, and according to the mails I kept getting from them for a while it's supposed to be interest free. Out of curiosity I picked a rather large amount I paid with my card earlier this week ($1,099.38 for car repairs... UGH!) and started to create a payment plan.

Here's what the "interest free" payment plan looked like in the end:

Total Amount owed: $1,099.38
3 Monthly Payments of $369.59
Total Cost: $1,108.77

Which amounts to a total extra cost of $9.39, or 0.854% of the amount owed, for a period three months. In other words: an APR of 3.4%.
Admittedly, that is still much lower than the close to 20% APR they charge if you don't "plan it" and carry a balance on your card, but it still boils down to costing you more than you owe. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this just a fancy new way of describing a short-term loan with admittedly fairly low interest rates? Or am I missing something here?

TheAnonOne

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Re: American Express's "Plan it" payment plan
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 11:24:45 AM »
I would make sure there are not extra fees but I dont think think you are missing anything. Though the value of 3 months long loans are questionable.

For anyone curious, this is about CHARGE cards specifically and not credit cards.

Cromacster

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Re: American Express's "Plan it" payment plan
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 12:17:52 PM »
Honestly, my interest was piqued when they announced this and I keep it in my back pocket.  I have not used it yet.

I keep a relatively low amount cash savings and if I were ever hit with a big expense (15-30K) range I would put it on my CC until I can shuffle things around.  The Plan-It option will give me a little more flexibility.  Ie waiting a month or two to cash flow repayment vs selling off a chunk of whatever fund.

Using it to buy a TV would be pretty stupid though.

kms

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Re: American Express's "Plan it" payment plan
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 01:37:23 PM »
For anyone curious, this is about CHARGE cards specifically and not credit cards.
I don't think this is about charge cards only as I'm getting this offer with my American Express credit cards. I don't have any charge cards. In fact, I had to look up what a charge card even is, and I can assure you that none of my cards are charge cards, the American Express card in particular is a Blue Cash Everyday with a credit limit of $25k that I would in theory be able to carry for as long as I made my minimum payments.

@Cromacster yes, that makes sense. I could be used as sort of a short-term emergence stash, I never thought of it this way.